Weeknotes 215; AI support

Hi! Good to have you here again this week. This week is a shorter update than last week’s impressions from the generative AI tool design of MidJourney. However, there were again multiple new tools using the potential or promises of generative AI as product features or complete tools. Notion announced AI support with similar capabilities as Lex for help in case of lack of inspiration while writing and combines it with several other existing functions that become more helpful through AI.

Metaphore.systems are claiming to have a new type of search that fits the current way of prompt-based interaction with the machines. Speaking about prompt-writing, more and more support for learning to prompt efficiently is popping up. And Getimg.ai feels really like we are entering a real generative AI hype. You will find some more in the news captures of this week below.

On personal updates next to working on Structural, we also had a session on the Shapes of Thinking project in Museon and were able to visit the lovely exposition in Kunstmuseum on Anni and Josef Albers.

Next to that, we sent out the mailing for ThingsCon Winter Unconference (9 December in Rotterdam, check out more here).

Other events this and next week that might be interesting: AI for All – from the dark side to the light (this Friday, Eindhoven), Immersive Tech Week (next week, Rotterdam), London IoT Meetup (this evening), that’s it what is on my radar now.

The news of last week: with more generative AI, robots, autonomous vehicles, and DeFi, but also some geopolitics.

“Robot rooms” could be the future of homes and offices 
ROBOTICS – “Integrating robots into walls, ceilings, furniture, and appliances could radically change our indoor spaces.”Are robots indeed becoming like an integrated added feature, or is the whole of the intelligence systems that we will use become connected into a bigger robotic system? I tend to the latter.
DeFi Users Jump But Boom is a Mirage: Chainalysis 
DEFI – Data Shows Activity Spike Came from Existing Users and MEV Bot
Magic3D: High-Resolution Text-to-3D Content Creation
GENERATIVE – This one is interesting too: let the machine generate a prompted image, let it print to 3D for a real experience.
oio Spawns
GENERATIVE – “In 1952 Ernesto Nathan Rogers wrote that by carefully examining an object as simple as a spoon, we could understand the kind of city and society that produced it. Inspired by his words we worked together with algorithmic machines to create a spoon for our times – the Spawn collection. It’s a spoon, but it is not a spoon. Spawned by machines and crafted by humans.”Oio-Studio has commissioned several interesting projects.
AI | No Mercy / No Malice
AI still can’t predict the markets, much less the future. The best method, still, of predicting the future is to make it.
.SWOOSH is the Home for Nike’s virtual creations.NFT – It feels not the best time for new initiatives based on NFTs but who knows from a brand like Nike. 
Amazon Alexa is a “colossal failure,” on pace to lose $10 billion this year 
VOICE – Layoffs are all over tech, within Amazon the Alexa team is hit hard. “We have to wonder: Is time running out for Big Tech voice assistants? Everyone seems to be struggling with them.”It is sure that it burns a lot of money in server time, the monetising is lacking for now so it seems.
Medical triage robot to treat injured soldiers on the battlefield
ROBOTICS – “A VR-controlled medical triage robot is being built to help trained techs attend to injured soldiers on the battlefield.” A bit grim…
Tatum is building a robot arm to help people with deafblindness communicate 
ROBOTICS – We have been looking at sleeves and haptic technology in a project by UTwente and HvA some years ago. This seems as promising solution based on a different concept. “Tatum is building a robotic arm designed to help people with deafblindness better communicate with the world.”
The Clash Of ‘Civilizational States’ 
GEO POLITICS – Let’s hope for the best…. “What the future holds, as Maçães argues, is not the dominance of any one civilization, but a return to the “natural” order of non-universal realms of influence.”It is a scenario, but shifting dominance after half a century full of culture wars is another…
Taking A Long Term View Of Web3
WEB3 – Better look at the long time possible impact… “The lesson of these recent events for policymakers should not be that web3 is bad and must be constrained. It should be that pushing innovation offshore is bad. We need trusted and well-regulated centralized entities to survive and thrive and we also need decentralized web3 protocols to flourish and provide a path to a fully decentralized web.”
No, autonomous vehicles aren’t dead
AUTONOMOUS – This seems to be a quicker bounding back than expected. Earlier it was as ‘regrouping’ more than going out for business… “Autonomous vehicles have major challenges. But declaring the technology dead after Argo AI’s shutdown is foolish.”
Autonomous Vehicles Join the List of US National Security Threats 
AUTONOMOUS – This should not come a surprise… “Lawmakers are growing concerned about a flood of data-hungry cars from China taking over American streets.”
Filtered for ears
BODY INTEGRITY – Ear scanning for spatial audio; there is potential more to it…
The internet of good things
CONNECTED – A classical, almost iconic, installation of a connected product to solve 
New Meta AI demo writes racist and inaccurate scientific literature, gets pulled 
AI DEMO – No surprises from a tool by Microsoft… Galactica language model generated convincing text about fact and nonsense alike.

Paper for this week

More on AI partnering generating ideas. In a typical academic manner

Emerging practices of using ‘off the shelf’ AI as a creative partner in design processes are receiving increasing attention in design research. This paper takes the well-known concept of ‘framing’ in design, along with the Schönian concept of ‘surprise’ to explore how a human-AI dialogue could work.

van der Burg, V., Akdag Salah, A., Chandrasegaran, S., & Lloyd, P. (2022). Ceci n’est pas une chaise: Emerging practices in designer-AI collaboration.


See you next week!

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.